Well-designed structures, procedures, and programs, rather than sheer physical force, are critical to controlling prison inmates. In most correctional facilities, inmates outnumber staff by four to one. The ratio can increase, depending on time of day or location.
Procedures include identifying the most violent or escape-prone, frequent head-counts, clear rules and regulations, on-going searches for contraband, tight control of keys and tools, a well-established disciplinary process, and constant supervision. Work, educational and recreational activities keep inmates constructively occupied and out of trouble.
Cartridge Box GOGA 10066
Alcatraz correctional officers who worked with inmates did not carry weapons. The risk of having inmates overpower an officer to steal weapons was too great. Officers only carried weapons in the “gun galleries” overlooking the cell house interior or in towers overlooking the prison exterior. Inmates had no access to these areas. Alcatraz, however, was well-stocked with firearms, teargas, and other items that could be distributed to officers in the event of an escape or disturbance.
Canister GOGA 18959
The prison itself provided security. Various physical apparatus controlled inmates, including state-of-the-art locking devices for cell doors. One officer could lock and unlock any or all cell doors along an entire range or corridor from a single location. There were tool-resistant, case-hardened steel bars; metal detectors; and special lighting and alarm systems. Inmates usually moved from their cells to other parts of the prison without physical restraints. However, correctional officers could place inmates in handcuffs and leg irons if they were violent, or if they had to be escorted outside the prison walls.

Lock GOGA 9927
Club GOGA 18963
Handcuffs GOGA 69 Black Jacks GOGA 12534, 18963, 18685, 12535, 71 Blackjack GOGA 71 Camera GOGA 72 Counter GOGA 73 Leg Shackles GOGA 94 Tear Gas GOGA 96
Sign GOGA 100 Box GOGA 122 Bottle GOGA 9219 Hammer GOGA 9229 Blackjack GOGA 12534 Counter GOGA 13160 Blackjack GOGA 18685
Lapel Pin GOGA 18972 Plaque GOGA 32208 Voltmeter GOGA